Everybody loves to play. People of all ages can find joy and accomplishment by engaging in play. But is play only useful for having fun? Research suggests there could be much more happening when people are at play.
Whilst many may view play and classroom learning as opposites, researchers and educators have long extolled the benefits of play in an educational context. Key factors making up the ideal learning experience, such as taking an active role in the learning environment, being engaged, gaining meaningful information and interacting in a social context, are all characteristics of play. By providing learners, especially early years learners, with a structured play environment, play-based curriculums serve to enhance and encourage meaningful development and learning.
Play-based learning is embedded at the core of the Early Childhood Center (ECC) and Lower Elementary School curriculums at BCIS. Lucila Zornosa-Sanchez, ECC deputy principal, introduced parents to play-based learning at the most recent Parents as Learners (PAL) workshop at the ECC. Employing play as a learning technique, Lucila demonstrated to parents the ways in which their children can benefit from play in a structured educational environment. Lucila explained the six different stages of play (unoccupied, solitary, onlooker, parallel, associative, social) to parents and the methods employed by BCIS to allow children to engage in each stage of the play spectrum. At the ECC, students are given topic-focused options to choose to play with and the freedom to choose how they engage in their play, which generates greater play-based learning opportunities for students.
At BCIS we pride ourselves on using proven educational methods and theories to develop the curriculums of each of our school sections. PAL workshops as well as other BCIS parent and community events allow an opportunity to share and celebrate the incredible learning taking place at BCIS with the wider BCIS community.Throughout August there have been four PAL workshops held on a variety of engaging topics, to find the details of upcoming PAL workshops please visit the BCIS website school calendar page. Also, we are delighted to announce that on September 24th and 25th BCIS will host Susie March, an expert on Comprehensive Sexual Education (CSE) and Personal, Social, Health and Economics (PSHE) training, who will deliver two workshops to BCIS parents on this important topic, keep your eyes peeled for updates on this event.